5 Key Learnings from the IoIC Festival 2021

Internal Comms

Kristina Ridgway
by Kristina Ridgway
5 Key Learnings from the IoIC Festival 2021

Connect. Inspire. Learn.

Vevox had the pleasure of attending the Institute of Internal Communications Festival 2021, the first of its kind, and the first in person event that we have attended since the move to virtual and hybrid events from the pandemic.

The festival was exceptionally organised and structured with interactivity and engagement at its core, with various sessions, key notes and panel discussions filling the two days it ran for. Thanks to extensive planning from the IoIC Team, and the internal communications experts that spoke and shared their knowledge, there was no shortage of activities to be involved in, and it was impossible to not be inspired by the messages shared.

There was an abundance of highlights from the festival, of which we would like to share a few that particularly stood out. 

1. Flexible work is here to stay

The World Trend Index 2021 found that 54% of workers currently feel overworked, and 38% find themselves feeling exhausted. With the average meeting time now lasting 10 minutes longer, a shift in mindset is key to accepting that flexible working is something that is needed to encourage wellbeing and a work-life balance for employees.


2. We need to get hybrid right to move forward


Overload is not an abstract concept. It’s having a bottom-line impact.” - Elizabeth Marsh

Dispersed workforces, just like flexible working, are now a permanent fixture. The best way to maintain connectivity and prevent digital overload is to ensure that your business has a consistent hybrid approach that uses the right technologies to drive digital connectivity. It is also prevalent to promote digital connection and disconnection and provide adequate training, so that everyone in the business is equipped to handle the new future of work.

3. Authenticity spurs productivity & wellbeing

With hybrid and flexible working being here to stay, people want to be able to connect in the same way as before, wherever they are working. Known as the hybrid paradox, the reality is that we cannot replicate the spontaneity of face-to-face interaction, but we can create something different that is equally as valuable.

4. True inclusion starts with individual action

A huge part of a healthy workplace is diversity and inclusion, and it starts as individual action. A panel discussion with Andrea Henry, Will Fox and Clare Elevique showed that you must consider how inclusive you are as a person, and if you’re not engaged with how you’re thinking, it can form unconscious bias. Considering how you can make people feel included ultimately influences organisational action and celebrating people and diversity is not a trend. It is not something that should be accommodated, it is a standard that must be fully embedded in everything you do.

5. When considering your company’s communications and culture think: what helps, what hinders, and what’s missing?


Culture is not on a poster. It’s in the hearts and minds of what people do every day.” – David Price

The most important part of your company’s communication and culture comes from listening to the people who work there, and what they want. Encouraging two-way communication between employees and leaders, running workshops, and providing materials that are needed for success will help your organisation to live and breathe its culture.

IOIC Festival

IoIC Resources

  • You can read the Live updates from day 1 of the IoIC Festival here
  • You can read the Live updates from day 2 of the IoIC Festival here
  • For more information on running hybrid meetings and events download our free guide